Chuck Porucznik, executive director of the High
Intensity Drug Trafficking Area discusses the new role
Porter County law enforcement officers will have as the
Porter County looking to curb drug
Jeff Burton October 28, 2011 8:15 pm
VALPARAISO | There are more than 2,500 known gang
members in Lake County and Portage Police Chief Mark
Becker said residents can no longer pretend they're not
crossing the county line.
"We all know through experience their primary (income)
is from street-level drug transactions," Becker said.
"We'd be naive to think they don't come into our county
to deal drugs."
Police chiefs and other law enforcement officers from
throughout Porter County gathered Friday to explain
their new drug enforcement effort as part of the High
Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
Porter County was admitted to the HIDTA in June after
studies showed drugs from Mexico and the western U.S.
were being trafficked through the county on expressways
and distributed in cities and towns en route to major
cities like Chicago and Detroit.
Local HIDTA Executive Director Chuck Porucznik said
federal funds awarded to Porter County will allow
officers from the Porter County Sheriff's
Department, and other local department, to devote part
of their time to running interdiction on area
He said there's a constant flow of drugs coming from the
Mexican border and copious amounts of cash flowing back.
Porter County Prosecutor Brian Gensel said one of the
areas where HIDTA expertise will benefit the county is
in its intelligence. He said the agency often knows the
prime times specific drugs are being harvested and
transported, allowing interdiction efforts to be
Becker, a former FBI agent, said having access to HIDTA
resources is benefiting residents. He said combined with
what he sees as an aggressive, proactive approach to
keeping drugs off the streets, it gives officers a
better chance of preventing problems before they occur.
"I was just out on a drug arrest a few days ago and (the
person arrested) referred to Portage and Porter County
as being too strict," Becker said. "I think it's making